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A total of 272 farmers from the province of Batangas have successfully graduated from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Region IV CALABARZON’s Radyo Eskwela sa CALABARZON on pinakbet vegetable production, held at Southern Tagalog Integrated Agricultural Research Center (STIARC) Training Hall, Brgy. Maraouy, Lipa City, Batangas on January 9, 2019.

DA CALABARZON Assistant Regional Director for Research and Regulations Elmer T. Ferry, Regional High Value Crops Development Program Coordinator Redelliza A. Gruezo, Agribusiness and Marketing Assistance Division Chief Editha M. Salvosa, and Agricultural Program Coordinating Officer in Batangas Fidel L. Libao; and Batangas Provincial Agriculturist Pablito A. Balantac graced the occasion. They all commended the graduates for their hard work and dedication in completing the training, and the city and municipal agriculturists and agricultural technicians for having actively joined in the conduct of the project by way of sending farmers as enrollees of the training. They also reiterated the importance of teaching the modern technologies and sharing the technical know-how in farming to attain the food sufficiency and security goal of the Agriculture Department – considering school-on-the-air (SOA) as one of the tools to achieve the same. And they guaranteed that the government is continuously implementing programs and projects to help improve the lives of the farmers and the agriculture sector as a whole.

Graduates from 22 participating cities and municipalities (Balayan, Calaca, Calatagan, Nasugbu, Taal, Tuy, Bauan, San Pascual, Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Malvar, San Nicolas, Talisay, Tanauan, San Jose, San Juan, Taysan, Batangas, and Lipa); provincial, city, and municipal agriculture offices; and DA technical staff or experts who served as radio teachers of different lessons were recognized and given certificates.

Participants learned topics and took quizzes on 1) high value crop situation and outlook report, 2) planting pinakbet vegetables, 3) insect pests and diseases of pinakbet vegetables and their management, 4) fertilizer recommendation for pinakbet vegetables, 5) harvesting pinakbet vegetables, and 6) marketing pinakbet vegetables. These lessons were aired over Radyo Natin 106.3 FM Laguna every Wednesday at 8:30 – 9:15 am and KISS FM 95.1 every Thursday at 12:00 – 12:45 pm, all first and third weeks of the month, from September to November, 2018; and were posted on Department of Agriculture Region 4A Facebook Page.

“This SOA would definitely not be the last. We will continue conducting this program to be able to disseminate relevant information on agricultural technologies and development, and affect more farmers in improving farming in the region,” Regional Agriculture and Fisheries Information Office Chief Patria T. Bulanhagui said in her message.

It would be recalled that the DA CALABARZON confirmed 161 Quezon farmers and 49 Laguna graduates of Radyo Eskwela sa CALABARZON on corn production and hybrid rice production, respectively in December 2018. • ARC